It is almost bedtime. She's tired.
And all of a sudden, her little face crumples and tears flow down her face.
"I want Daddy."
Lord, what do I say? I'm always at a loss.
I gather her up in my lap and murmered what little comfort I can offer. "I know, baby. I know. I miss him too. But you know what? Daddy is in Heaven and he isn't sick. He's waiting for you and he still loves you very much."
"But Heaven is too far away. I want God to send Daddy back down here. I can't wait that long till I see him again. I want God to send him back." She sobs big tears, curls up into a ball in my lap. Then she reaches her arms up to the sky and plaintively cries out, "Daddy...Daddy...I want you."
Jesus, have mercy.
It's been a year and a half, but her little girl's heart still longs for her daddy. I don't know what else to do, so I pull her even tighter, murmer little words of comfort, and silently pray for God to calm her heart, for the Holy Spirit to bring her comfort in her spirit and in her dreams. And I cry silent tears into that fine curly hair that is just like her dad's. Then...
"But I still have you."
Her tears quiet, her breathing slows, and her body relaxes.